NTPC Ltd plans to get into manufacturing Light Emitting Diode (LED) lamps, widely considered the future of lighting technology. It has tied up with the Bangalore-based Society for Integrated Circuit Technology and Applied Research for making the lamps as they have frugal power consumption, considerably lower than even compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).
"We are in the process of identifying the technology provider. The move to get into LED manufacture is aimed at strengthening the ongoing demand side management efforts, especially in the households segment," an NTPC official said.
An LED lamp is solid state lighting device that utilises light emitting diodes as a source of illumination instead of electrical filaments or gas. LEDs, besides being small, hardy, highly energy-efficient and long-lasting, do not have the mercury content issue associated with CFLs.
"While LED lamps are widely seen as the future of the lighting industry, the high costs have been a prohibitive factor. The entry of a big player such as NTPC could bring down the prices much faster," a Delhi-based private CFL manufacturer said.
While LED lamps, till recently, were limited only to single-bulb use in applications such as instrument panels and electronics, subsequent improvements in technology have widened their application. Several cities in the country, led by Delhi, have begun replacing their incandescent traffic lights with LED arrays because electricity costs can be reduced by almost 80 per cent.
"The LED technology has the potential to light up an entire village with less energy used by a single conventional 100 watt incandescent bulb. LED lamps offer the best hope for the ongoing rural electrification efforts, especially in case of off-grid connections," a Power Ministry official said.